In Support of Slow Reading


  1. Jim Murdoch
    Jim Murdoch January 19, 2015 at 8:06 am .

    Interesting but I’m not sure I agree—not that I’m the best test subject, mind—about the difference in levels of retention. I’ve just written to Canongate and told them to send all future review copies as e-books, a step I took with some reluctance because I love possessing books. There are levels to bibliophilia as with any love. Had I the funds I would be happy to buy books I never intended—or, shall we say, expected—ever to read, simply to own the books. I likewise get a kick from being in rooms full of books where there’s no possibility of me being able to read any of them. There’s the love of reading which most people would call bibliophilia but I think legerophilia (from the Latin ‘legere’) would probably be a more appropriate term. I struggle with paperbacks these days, the greyish paper and the smallish print. But with my various e-book readers—I have three different ones I use—I can adjust everything—colours, size, spacing, font—and it really makes the task so much easier and pleasurable. The one thing I miss is the ability to see how many pages I have left in the chapter I’m reading and none of them seem to get the page count right either but I suppose the technology will improve in time. E-books are here to stay. They’re an inevitability and a practical necessity. I suppose we’ll hang onto the term ‘book’ for a while yet just as we talk about writing when the reality is that most of us type and I still talk about taping TV programmes even though I’ve been recording them digitally for years now. I do not like the Kindle though. I have one simply because my wife bought it for me—she has her own and love it—but it’s not very flexible, besides my tablet is bigger.

  2. Lisa Zimmerman
    Lisa Zimmerman January 5, 2015 at 9:59 am .

    A few years ago, I gave a copy of one of Mary Oliver’s books to a neighbor of mine as a birthday gift. In her thank-you note she said, “I will take my time with these poems. Speed cannot absorb.”

  3. Melody Madonna
    Melody Madonna January 4, 2015 at 6:40 pm .

    E-books are fine for traveling and for allowing people with sight problems to be able to enlarge the type enough to read the books they want, but I tried the Kindle for about a year and am back to reading books that I can touch, smell, know what page I’m on, etc.

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